“I have a dream…” declaimed Martin Luther King. You too have a dream.
We share our dreams with loved ones and friends hopeful we will be both heard and seen. Sharing dreams creates maps through communication. A dream shared is one step closer to enabling us to create a plan to realise it, a dream to sing, to sing our story through song.
When I was a child I sang to create a world away from the one I lived. I sang like my life depended on it, I sang at school, at the dinner table and later, to keep a roof over my head. When I sand I was free, I inhabited a world more mine than that of the day to day, a safe space found in story, rhythm and sound.
When you hear a song do you have a “lightbulb moment”? a “that’s how I feel” moment? It isn’t just the lyrics that sets your blood racing it’s the combination of words, music and rhythm. It might be a classical piece, a ballad or a pop song. The song and singer might originate from Africa, from Lebanon, somewhere, anywhere in the world. You can’t understand the words but you resonate with the emotion. The memory of it stains the days, you must, you will sing that song. Because singing it more than merely listening to it enables you to inhabit someone else’s world, their reality, dreams, joys and pain. Singing that particular song enables you to hear, to feel the echo in your heart.
You find the song sheet, excited, take it home, pick the notes out on the piano, the guitar or ask a friend to play the piece. You begin to sing. It’s harder than you thought it would be. The timing is complicated, words on some notes are awkward to pronounce, a phrase is set higher or lower than you thought it was. Maybe you have enough experience to patiently work it out for yourself, to iron out challenging areas. Or you find someone able to enable you. Sometimes with or without help, it’s a struggle to come to grips with a song. You’re frustrated, exasperated with the difficulties you’re trying to surmount. Enter Negative Nelly slinking slyly to hover behind your shoulder –
You can’t sing, listen to yourself, why d’you bother, you’re insulting the air, she hisses all teeth, crimson lips and sharp, blood red talons.
For crying out loud, you mutter, singing is meant to be fun.
So leave it, counters Nelly, what’s the big deal. Go have fun.
But the song has you in its hold. You and it have a relationship. It won’t let you go. Then, finally, wonderfully, you ‘have it’. The hours of work, the sweat and the tears have metamorphosed into something magical, a union through which the unconscious mind of the singer, you, can express your emotions through song. In performance this perfect union expands to embrace the audience, sharing our humanity, our depth and lightness of being – a map to and of our dreams, our sorrows and joys. And negative nelly? She’s scuttled back from whence she came.
Might this be one of the reasons why you sing? Through your gifts, courage and perseverance you, through song, express the maps to and of your dreams. You create a world away from the oft time horrors, the some-time drudgery of the every day.
thank you for reading my blog. Dream big, enjoy the journey.